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Blumenthal to Introduce Bill That Restricts Trumps Power With Insurrection Act

sen. richard blumenthal speaks
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.,  speaks at a hearing of the Judiciary Committee examining issues facing prisons and jails during the coronavirus disease. ( Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 June 2020 06:33 PM

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., announced he will introduce a bill to restrict the powers President Donald Trump will be able to use under the Insurrection Act.

"I will be proposing legislation to reform the Insurrection Act to establish restrictions on the president's now very vague ... authority," Blumenthal told reporters.

Earlier this week Trump threatened to unleash the military onto the streets to quell riots around the country.

“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled,” Trump said earlier this week. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the U.S. military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

In response to those comments, Defense Secretary Mark Esper opposed using the Insurrection Act and said he thought the National Guard was "best-suited" to send into the riots.

The military is largely prohibited from performing law enforcement duties in the United States. The 1807 Insurrection Act, however, overrides that limitation. President George H.W. Bush invoked the law to help calm the riots in L.A. after police officers who beat motorist Rodney King on videotape were acquitted.

"I say this not only as secretary of Defense, but also as a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard, the option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations," Esper added. "We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act."

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., announced he will introduce a bill to restrict the powers President Donald Trump will be able to use under the Insurrection Act....
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Wednesday, 03 June 2020 06:33 PM
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